Minutes after a much-anticipated Class 1A girls’ hockey title game matchup was set, the fireworks were already flying.
Warroad head coach David Marvin was fielding questions after his Warriors defeated Alexandria 10-0 in the semifinals. A comment from Lenny Vannelli — head coach of Breck, Warroad’s championship game opponent at noon Saturday — was relayed to Marvin.
“If they can match our skating skills, it will be an awesome championship game,” is what Vannelli had said when asked about a matchup with Warroad. Vannelli perhaps didn’t mean much by it, but it certainly meant something to Marvin.
“Really? I’m not going to give you anything that juicy. I hope we can match their skating. You can tell coach Vannelli that. Milli Vanilli, whatever his name is,” Marvin said, drawing laughs. But it was clear he was at least half-agitated. After a few more thoughts on the matchup, he circled back. “I can’t get over that comment,” he said.
Consider the stage set. Warroad (No. 1) and Breck (No. 2) are the top two-ranked and seeded teams in Class 1A.
Warroad has outscored its two state tournament foes by a combined 21-1. Alexandria hung in longer than Finland did against Team USA Friday, but the Warriors, who led 1-0 after the first, scored three quick goals early in the second to take control. Eight different players scored for Warroad, led by two goals apiece by Megan Brettingen and Layla Marvin.
Senior Brook Story, who has played on two Warroad teams that finished as state runners-up — including last year’s squad, which lost 4-3 to Blake — had a goal and four assists. She also sounded just as determined and confident as her coach.
“We’re sick of getting second,” Story said.